All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Shaw Sisters of Paris

I caught Reta Shaw this evening on an old Andy Griffith episode. Reta and sister Marguerite were born and raised in South Paris, and both had success on Broadway, but it was Reta's career as a character actress that really took off. She appeared in the original Broadway productions of 'The Pajama Game,' 'Picnic', and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' and in dozens of classic television shows. Her most memorable roles were as housekeepers—"Mrs. Brill" in the movie Mary Poppins, and "Martha Grant" in the TV series The Ghost & Mrs. Muir.

Marguerite had a degree in physical education from Bates College, a Masters degree from Columbia University, and was dean of students at American University when she took a break from academics to take over her sister's role of "Mabel" in the national company of 'The Pajama Game.' She later taught physical education at Sarah Lawrence College.
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